Our Story

Chances are you didn't set out to find an all-in-one software platform to help you launch your business.

We get it—we didn't either.

But as our team spent more time as founders, operators, and advisors of early stage SaaS companies, we made two important observations:

  • Nearly every SaaS or membership business requires the same core set of software tools.
  • Almost every company's software buying decisions are anything but "lean." Tools are often poorly integrated and only partially used.

We figured there had to be a better, more efficient way to launch an early stage subscription business. While companies like Shopify had built platforms to make it easy to launch an e-commerce business, nobody has built something comparable for SaaS.

Here you'll find the story of why we decided to tackle this problem—and why an all-in-one platform is a better solution.

Start-ups Are Buying a Slew of Point Solutions

During the course of idea validation interviews, we learned the following by interviewing founders of start-up SaaS businesses.

  • The average SaaS start-up we talked relied on 6-7 core software tools to run their business.
  • A lot of time was spent on the initial integration of these tools, as well as maintaining these integration on an ongoing basis.
  • Founders overwhelmingly felt that their tech stacks were "duct-taped together.”
  • There's a clear opportunity cost to time spent managing your tech stack; it's time taken away from building your product.

There are countless studies out there on the number of SaaS products used today in small businesses and the cost associated with all these tools. While I question the validity of many of them, this report from Bettercloud is one of the more conservative ones.

Any way you cut it, early stage companies are using using a ton of tools—and many of them are duplicated or only fractionally used in a way that's anything but efficient. Welcome to SaaS chaos!


The buy-a-boat-load of software solutions trend is something that we also fell victim to. When Dimitris and I worked together at Buildium, I would often go to him with requests; "We need to buy a marketing automation platform," or "It's time to upgrade our help desk software."

This quickly became a point of frustration—Dimitris was often spending more time integrating software tools than he was building our software. The point solutions that we bought more often than not came with unclear costs, significant integration and maintenance overhead, and a realization that we were actually using only about 20% of each tool's functionality.

Dimitris ended up building a simple set of tools to support the basic operational needs of our SaaS business—in essence an early version of Outseta that we used to scale the business well past $5M in annual revenue.

As we reflected on this experience, we couldn't help but laugh; in an industry that celebrates The Lean Start-up as gospel, why has the SaaS industry completely rejected "lean" principles when it comes to our software buying decisions?

And why hadn't someone built a platform to make it easy to launch a SaaS business?

Point Solutions Chew Up Technical Cofounders' Time

As we considered the technology decisions we made at Buildium, we realized that those decisions were probably bigger than we thought they were at the time. Dimitris spent a lot of time integrating and maintaining point solutions. He spent a lot of time building other "scaffolding" that was needed to support the business, yet wasn't core to our product. We were often ping-ponging data between tools so we could deploy marketing campaigns to the exact segment of prospects or customers that we wanted to reach. And we were often surprised when our bills came in at month end.  

What's the single most precious resource to start-up founders? Ask yourself this question, or anyone else, and you'll likely get one of three responses:

  • Time (check)
  • Money (check)
  • Developers (check)

The most valuable asset a startup can buy is TIME. Everything always takes two times longer than you think.

Chris Heivly
Co-founder of Mapquest, EIR at Techstars

The start-up game is by definition risky, spitting out a few big winners and many losers. In a world where 90% of start-ups fail, anything you can do to save time, money, and development resources increases your odds of being one of the winners. Nothing is more damaging to a start-up's chances of success than wasted founder time!

SaaS Companies Have Fueled This Fire

Ironically enough, it's marketers like me within the SaaS industry itself that have perpetrated this problem. Heck, the market even celebrates the more than 14,000 marketing technology products that are out there!

Human psychology is also to blame. We all like to buy things. We've all been seduced by tried-and -true marketing practices wrapped up in some new terminology. We all want to feel like we're getting software with the absolute best feature possible. But as you start to cobble together your tech stack, stop and ask yourself...

  • Does buying 5-20 software products really make any sense for your early stage start-up?
  • What percentage of each software's functionality are you actually going to use?
  • How many of these tools—and which features specifically—actual contribute meaningfully to your ability to grow revenue?

Have you ever seen a start-up with the actual lifetime value of every customer stored on their CRM record? Seriously... have you?

Start-Ups Win With A Reduced Technology Footprint

As we considered the seductive powers of buying a whole shit-ton of software, we began interviewing other SaaS founders on this topic. We came to the realization that all early stage subscription businesses need the same core tools:

  • A billing system to charge their customers
  • An authentication tool to allow access to their product
  • A CRM to store prospect and customer data
  • Email and help desk tools to communicate with their customers
  • Reporting tools to measure company performance

It also dawned on us that in the context of an early stage business, the feature set that you actually need across these tools is relatively basic. If we could fulfill these needs behind a single login—and with a single bill—how would that not be preferable?

Market Validation

As we launched Outseta publicly, we began to hear from other start-up founders (see below) that the story we've told you thus far resonated.

The apps you buy should help you and teams see more clearly through clutter & ‘busy’ness, not add to it.

Aaron Ross
Founder, predictablerevenue.com

I’ve been thinking about building a very simple SaaS product... and was dismayed to discover that all the “overhead” was going to be far more work than the actually “product” piece. I assumed there would be some (cheap) product that would let me get up and running quickly with a simple website that let people “pick your plan,” handle the recurring billing, and let the product check to make sure the user had a plan in place before working. But... I didn’t find anything that was good enough or simple enough.

Dave Owens
Founder, Tapwalk

Comments like these fueled the development of the Outseta that you'll find today—all of the scaffolding and core tools that are required to launch and grow SaaS and membership businesses.

Whether you're looking to accelerate speed to market or to scale with far fewer technology headaches, we're here whenever you're ready to get started.

Our entire business runs on our own product. Will you join us?